I attended the Microsoft TechEd conference 2 years in a row now. As registration opened for TechEd Europe 2010, I asked myself: do I really want to go this year?
I just changed companies in February so I wasn’t sure if my new boss would find the investment worth it. Because this conference is not cheap!
First of all, only the ticket costs €1,895 + VAT, if not registered fast enough to catch the Early Bird offer. Then there are the additional costs for hotel and flight. The hotels are smart enough to double their prices when there’s a conference in the city.
I flirted with the idea of presenting a Birds of Feather session hoping that this way all the costs would be covered by Microsoft. But at the end I chickened out. Talking in front of a big crowd is just not my thing. I prefer to be the silent listener instead.
Plus what I dislike is that TechEd 2010 will be held in Berlin again. The weather in November is just awful. I don’t want to have to put up with the rain and the cold during the conference! I can suffer very well in Nürnberg as well. It was such a great joy to escape the ugly weather in Germany two years ago and enjoy the nice warm sun in Barcelona. I know that the whole purpose of this trip would be to attend the conference but would it be too much to ask, if it would be held in a warmer location? You know, combine business with pleasure. 😉
I also think that the venue in Berlin is bad. The rooms are not sound-proof and often I didn’t hear the presenter so good. This place is suitable for exhibitions, not for conferences.
Another thing which really bugs me is that last year 70% of the sessions was IT-oriented. There were time slots when I couldn’t pick any sessions, which might interest me. Is this conference slowly becoming only for IT? What about the developers? What should we do?
So I decided to skip TechEd Europe this year and save the company’s training budget for something more interesting in the near future.
PDC10 held in Redmond, US, between October 28-29 would have been a much better choice but unfortunately it was sold out before I returned from my holiday. I’ll be watching it online though.
I’ll be looking into Mix held in Vegas next April from 12th to 14th 2011 but until then I must exchange my passport with a biometrical one and figure out how I could get a visa for the US.
But I wonder if there are any other interesting conferences for developers, besides TechEd, PDC or Mix?
Finally, I wish those who will go to TechEd Europe 2010 lots of fun and hopefully many new topics to learn about!